Global Quickies: Taxis, Turf, and Fake Ebola Cures

Nigerian official warns pastors and healers to stop making false Ebola-cure claims. He called on those who wanted to rip off members of the public to desist from such claims of cure or risk arrest and prosecution.

The Islamic State (IS) has banned the study of philosophy and chemistry in schools in the northern Syrian city of al-Raqa and established an “Islamic curriculum” for students, as those disciplines “do not fit in with the laws of god”.

A cab company in Buenos Aires started offering “harmonizing taxis”, which include relaxing music, inspirational quotes on the tv, fake grass floor mats, gem therapy to align your chakras, and a “special GPS” to avoid roads with bad energy. Doesn’t it take longer to get to your destination? Yes, it does. Is that legal? No, it isn’t.

Lawmakers in Kenya are considering a new draft bill that proposes harsh penalties against gays, including death by stoning or life in prison. The bill calls for death by stoning in public for any foreigner who commits a homosexual act, and a life imprisonment for Kenyan nationals found guilty. (Edit: It appears this bill has been found unconstitutional – Thanks to Jackal who sent a link in the comments.)

Some professional soccer players are fighting FIFA’s decision to have next year’s Women’s World Cup in Canada played in artificial turf. The surface changes the game and is more dangerous, so FIFA trying it out on the women’s competition is seen by some players as a gender issue.

Featured image: Harmonizing taxi.


Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniela has finally decided to abdicate her post as an armchair skeptic and start doing some skeptical activism. She is currently living in Spain after having lived in the US, Brazil and Italy. You can also find her blogging in Spanish at esceptica.org.

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  1. Daniela,

    Quoting from the Yahoo News article,
    The IS had asked teachers and school directors to “prepare an Islamic education system in the schools of al-Raqa”, which would be reviewed by the board of education, formed by the IS itself.

    The “Islamic experts” belonging to the IS decided to exclude chemistry and philosophy from the educational programme because “they do not fit in with the laws of god”, the SOHR reported.

    I guess two of the “laws of God” are to not think for yourself and to remain ignorant and not understand how the world actually works. I was certain even before this that ISIS, (now the “Islamic State”) also opposes evolution. I’d be stunned if I found out otherwise. I wonder if these people also think the Sun circles the Earth.

    1. There’s also their treatment of Kurds. I mean, most fundies don’t go out of their way to annihilate an entire ethnic group these days.

      At this point, it’s more when IS doesn’t do something intolerable that I’m surprised.

  2. Because I needed yet another reason to hate Sepp Blatter, along comes this bullshit about the World Cup. Turf is not the surface of the future, we’ve had it for a long time, but it hasn’t taken over. If turf is so good, why wasn’t the 2014 World Cup played on it?

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